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How to teach your child to swallow pills

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Here is a good video to watch that can give you some practical help on how to teach your child to swallow pills:
 
method swallowing pills
Source: University of Calgary
Professor Bonnie Kaplan and her students in the Behavioural Research Unit / Dept of Pediatrics have worked with hundreds of children and adults to develop a new way to learn how to swallow pills. Watch the video to see how its done.

How to teach your child to swallow pills

Swallowing a pill or capsule can be an important skill that many of us take for granted until we have a child who needs to swallow a pill. Many things — from anxiety to stubbornness — can make it harder for some kids to swallow pills.

But don't worry. Just like any skill, learning to swallow a pill takes practice. If you teach your child at the right time and in the right way, it can be a positive experience that builds your child's confidence. In no time, it'll be something that you both take for granted.

When Should Kids Learn?

Every child is unique, so the age at which kids learn to swallow a pill will vary. Try to avoid comparing your child with other kids, even siblings. In general, kids should be at least 4 years old and at a stage when they seem cooperative and motivated to learn new skills.

Start with something very small like an ice cream or cake sprinkle. After a few successful attempts, gradually increase the size of the candy (M&Ms, chocolate chips or tictac may work). Then you can move on to a pill or capsule.

Practice when things like TVs and cellphones are turned off and there are no other distractions. Don't expect your child to learn this skill overnight: practice for 5 to 10 minutes a day for about 2 weeks.

What to Do

Before kids swallow their first real pill, remind them of other skills they have mastered (like riding a tricycle or tying a shoelace), and explain why taking medicine is important in the first place so they'll feel good about taking it. Then model the behavior. Let your child see you take a capsule of ENZO Professional or one of your own medicine pills before it's his or her turn.

When it's your child's turn to swallow a pill, remember to stay calm. If you're nervous, your child will be, too. Stay positive, even if things don't go right the first time, and avoid any negative feedback.

To swallow the pill, have your child:

  • sit up straight with the head centered and straight
  • avoid tilting the head too far back, which can make swallowing more difficult
  • have your child take a few sips of water to "practice" swallowing
  • then, put the small candy, M&M or the real pill on your child's tongue and then have him or her drink the water again. (Sometimes having kids drink through straws can help distract them by focusing on something different.)

Even though ENZO Professional is best taken on an empty stomach it can also be taken with food. Better that than not taking it at all. You can try letting your child swallow it with something semi-solid like applesauce or mashed banana.

Praise your child if he or she swallows the pill successfully. If not, calmly tell your child that it's OK and try again. If your child refuses, stop and take a break. You can always try again later or the next day.

(Source: http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/medical/swallowing-pills.html with modifications)